Victoria Howard. Her name has been seen in the Marco Eagle and Naples Daily News 222 times over four years.
Most of the time for her outstanding achievement in sports where she lettered in four sports each year. They did not include all her student involvement at Lely, where she has been a class officer, nor her community involvement.
Her all-around values have earned her the third annual Marco Eagle Lely Athlete of the Year. She captured the title for the second straight year, with tennis star Lauren Embree the first.
She wins it in a year where competition was keen.
Among them was Gabby Lopez, the 4A Girls Soccer Player of the Year, ending her career with 99 goals and Parker Ayers, 4A Boys Basketball Player of the Year, who led his team to the Elite Eight in the 4A State Championship.
Wesley Blassneck, a multiple school and county record holder in swimming, who raced to a second-place finish the 200 Individual Medley race in the Class 2A State Championships.
Luis Ambriz, who played in goal most of the season, but stepped up offensively when the Trojans leading scorer, Gerry Reyes, moved away. In three district playoff games he scored four goals and had one assist. In a decisive overtime game against Golden Gate he blocked three penalty kicks in goal and then rammed home a penalty kick for the victory.
David Isme who starred on the football team and wrestled to third place in the Class 4A State Wrestling Championships.
Luis Gonzalez, who went into the Class 4A State Wrestling Championships undefeated before finishing fourth.
Of her second Eagle honor, the ever-competitive Howard smiled, saying, “It is too bad I can’t defend it next year.”
She credits her success “for having a great passion for sports and being able to stay physically healthy. To be able to do it all I have to give credit to God who made it possible.”
Howard was an all-star in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. Howard also represented Lely on Thursday night as its Winged Foot Student-Athlete nominee. The winner was announced after the news deadline for Friday.
While favoring softball and basketball, she said her favorite sport she will miss is softball.
“A number of us started as kids, playing in the Gulf Coast Little League,” she said. “We have been able to be part of developing a successful program that I think will be really great in the years ahead.”
While voting for the Athlete of the Year, each coach named their top player: Football: Emmanuel Edouard; Volleyball: Victoria Howard; Cross Country: girls, Amber Imm; boys, Andy Martinez; Golf: boys, Geoff Stephenson; girls, Katy Francisco; Swimming: Boys, Harry Stephenson; girls, Wesley Blassneck; Basketball: Boys, Parker Ayers; Girls, Victoria Howard; Soccer: Boys, Luis Ambriz; girls, Gabby Lopez; Wrestling: Luis Gonzalez; Baseball: Max Tyler; Softball: Offensively, Victoria Howard; defensively, Amanda Gates and Andrea Tanguma; Tennis: Boys, Matt Browne; girls, Alex Barrett; Track and Field: Boys, Jeff Charelus; girls, Victoria Howard.